EARLY — Early Longhorn junior Jake Angerstein is hoping the third time is the charm as he returns to Grey Rock Golf Course in Austin Monday and Tuesday for his third consecutive Class 3A Boys Golf State Tournament appearance.

After finishing 25th as a freshman, Angerstein claimed to fifth place as a sophomore. This year, Angerstein intends to find himself on the medal stand, hopefully with the gold in tow.

“It's nice to be three for three at this point,” Angerstein said. “This season was probably my best so far, so I'm feeling more confident than in previous years going there. Two years of playing that same course under my belt is definitely going to help. I know how to play it, I just have to make the shots.”

Reflecting on last year's state tournament, a shaky first round prevented Angerstein from bringing home a medal.

“I finished fifth and it was bittersweet because the first day cost me,” Angerstein said. “I shot 78 and put myself out of it, I was well back. I came back with one of the best rounds of the whole tournament the second day, a 71. I have confidence I can shoot low on that course, I know all I have to do is put two rounds together instead of one.”

Angerstein experienced a similar fate at the Region I-3A tournament at Shady Oaks Golf Course in Baird a couple of weeks ago, where he finished fifth overall. He opened with a 73, but closed with a 76 for a 149 total.

Heading into state, Angerstein feels his greatest strengths on the course are, “Right now, my long game, my power game has gotten extremely good, I've always had that, but I've gotten more consistent with it, more reliable while also being able to let loose off the tee.

“I need to work on my alignment, that gets a little off and I start hitting missed shots, but that's really an easy fix. But I would much rather have that problem than others.”

Among his highlights this season was the opening tie for first-place at Lampasas, which served as the catalyst for his most consistent high school campaign to date.

“My opening tournament at Lampasas I opened with the front nine with a 39, three-over, and came back and shot six-under 30 on the back to tie for first,” Angerstein said. “That was definitely a big confidence boost to know I could shoot that and get that low. Another point of emphasis is I was really happy for my highest score this year to only be a 77. That's my first year in high school that I haven't played badly enough to shoot in the 80s in a tournament, so my consistency has definitely gotten a lot better this year.”

The keys for Angerstein in his quest to produce the type of rounds he desires at state include, “I have to not get extremely greedy at that course. It's a very equalizing course. That's why I love it as a state course. You can't just smash it all over the place and turn out well. If you put it out of the fairway it's going to bite you big time. I have to take one shot at a time. You don't have to shoot record numbers to win this tournament, you just have to stay in the present and play every shot. Usually if do that you can keep the big numbers off the card, then get a few birdies here and there. It usually works out pretty good.”

And as for potentially coming home with a medal?

“To bring back a medal is something I've longed for going on three years now,” Angerstein said. “Last year I was so close, that first day just got me. It was bittersweet because I played so well the second day, but it just wasn't quite enough. If I can put together two solid rounds, hopefully I can bring home a state title. “